online order taking

Restaurants are one of those businesses where service component affects the overall experience of customers. Apart from flavorsome gourmet meals, fancy environment and smart staff a lot more can be done in terms of customer service. Even in a negative economy, experience is a high priority for customers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience. As a result, 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering excellent customer experience are outperforming their competition. Today’s customer is outspoken and does not hesitate to voice his discontent. A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. This calls for through measures to be taken for serving the customer in as much agile, efficient and exceptional way as possible. The icing on the cake would be to optimize resource utility and profitability while doing so.

The key is to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace. There are several hindrances that the hospitality sector comes across, in achieving the fore mentioned. The root is lack of automation and mobility. It starts with the customers having to wait for their credit cards when they have been taken to the central POS for payment processing. They would not want to lose sight of their cards, fearing fraudulent practices that are so common these days. Today’s savvy customer has higher expectations about how the businesses they frequent are protecting their personal information. Also, it leads to tables being occupied for a longer time, causing other customers to queue up outside the facility.

Another issue is that of manual practices involved in order taking i.e. - handwriting an order, walking up to the POS counter and re-keying it. This may prove to be a strain center on so many levels. It is prone to errors, inefficiency and delays in food service operations in absence of appropriate tools. There may be shortage of staff during peak hours. Lack of quick real time communication between waiters and the kitchen may end up in delays leaving the customer, hungrier and impatient than ever. This delay tends to be maximized in cases where customers are to be served by the pool, in a nightclub, in a stadium or at a cocktail bar.

Our “Online order taking and management” solution brings forth a quick fix for all the above stated issues. The solution automates the order taking and payment process, which brings agility of operation and frees up the staff for attending multiple customers. It renders maximum utilization of staff time with minimum efforts. The solution runs on a variety of wireless handheld devices such as android tablets or windows mobile computers. These devices are powered by an application that works seamlessly with central server and system. As the staff enters order directly into Motorola mobile device, they are cutting down time spent at the table. Also, orders are instantly sent to the bar/kitchen via. Wireless LAN. Errors due to sloppy handwriting are completely eliminated. Order accuracy increases and the wait times are brought down significantly.

The application is designed in a menu/forms based format that has updated listings and details of menu, orders, proceedings in the kitchen, food composition, seating arrangements, staff details etc. Armed with this information and the handheld system the servers become experts on every item on the menu. This enables them to answer even the most specific questions from the guest. Also the customers get to review their order.

Central alert manager can notify all staff about exceptions for ex: if a dish is not available, with alerts on the handheld devices. Also, the kitchen display system monitors the timing of orders.

The tableside payment facility brings the POS counter to the customer. A snap on card reader or a mobile printer (for payment made by cash) is connected to the mobile device via. Bluetooth and the necessary transactions are made. This results in increased credit card security and satisfaction of customer as all the transaction is taking place in his presence. Also, the facility management need no longer hassle with storing the credit cards that customers accidently leave behind. As the payment process is quick, table is vacated for the next guest, slashing waiting time for other customers.

The handheld mobility solution assists room service staff as they can be notified in seconds as to when a particular order is ready and where it has to be delivered. Customers can sign to accept delivery and authorize a tip right on the screen of the mobile computer.

Our solution delivers a major additional edge in the form of data analytics. Business decisions are based on customer preference, visiting time, repeat customers etc. Data collected through the solution gives clear visibility for marketing operations, enabling authorities to come up with offers like “discounts on time of the day” or “reward coupons for loyal customers”.